School of Urban Planning, McGill University, Canada

1 March 2018
| Citation



In developing countries, water and sanitation services for rural and peri-urban areas often are provided by networks comprised of governmental and non-governmental actors. The resulting governance sys- tems are rarely evaluated, in part because the methods to do so are complex and unclear. This paper builds on network governance theory to (a) propose a new framework for the assessment of the effective- ness of Water and Sanitation governance networks in developing countries and (b) apply it through field research in Honduras. Network theory suggests that, since the sum of the network is greater than its indi- vidual parts, the effectiveness of a network should be evaluated based on the performance of the overall network rather than that of its individual network actors. The proposed assessment framework starts with this premise and evaluates overall network effectiveness in the four stages of the policy process: policy development; policy decisions; implementation; and monitoring & evaluation. For the case of Honduras, performance indicators were specified for each policy stage, and an assessment conducted of the overall network’s performance. Key findings from the assessment relate to the importance of meta- governance coordination functions, dramatic expansion of services, and key gaps in network integration. The research, and the assessment framework, will be of interest to those concerned with the effective delivery of basic services, particularly to secondary cities of the developing world where, as in Hondu- ras, governance network commonly provide services and data for assessment are not yet compiled.


evaluation, network governance, performance indicators, policy cycle, water and sanitation, water boards, water quality, water supply.


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